When I discovered my highly-sensitive nature, I felt like it explained everything. It was so comforting to know that I actually made sense on some level. One of the difficulties of going through life as an HSP is that often, other people can’t understand what life is like for you. How can they possibly understand that something so normal to them is impacting you on a whole other level?
Before I understood why I was reacting the way I was in certain situations and with certain people, I couldn’t figure out the “why” behind it. All I knew was that what was bugging the shit out of me, or making me insanely sad, or overwhelming me, was seemingly easy for them to handle. No wonder so many of us feel like something is wrong with us! Once I understood the “why” behind my responses to the stimuli around me, I thought, “Finally! I can explain myself to other people and they’ll get me! They will finally understand and my life will be so much easier.” Right? Wrong.
The truth is, when I’ve attempted to explain what being highly sensitive is, most non-HSP’s don’t get it. It’s so far from who they are that it’s like trying to describe color to the color blind. I’ve gotten so many glossed-over looks of confusion from people, that I’ve come to terms with the fact that non-HSP’s can’t really “get” it. And that’s ok! It really, really is. It’s not personal. We don’t need to have other people understand us. We just need to understand ourselves.
I’m married to a non-HSP. I love him dearly, but oh my god, he so doesn’t get it. At. All. When I first started reading about the trait, I was a bundle of excitement and I couldn’t shut up about it. It was so fascinating to me and I assumed that he would be all over it! I thought he’d want to pick up the book and read it cover to cover so that he could better understand me. I was also so excited because now I could tell him exactly how to act, what to say, how to treat me so that I would feel comfortable all the time when I was with him. Yippee! I was also completely psyched about explaining the trait to the rest of my family so that they would also know how to treat me! I was going to tell the world, and surely, the world would bend over backward to accommodate me. Life was going to be so much easier.
Well, this did not happen. My husband still doesn’t get it. He doesn’t regulate his behavior because it might upset me. He still creeps up behind me, grabs me suddenly, scaring the shit out of me. He still slams doors. He turns on bright lights without warning me first. He asks me a million questions in the span of a minute turning me into a stressed out mess. The point is, he is still who he is. It was up to me to learn to accept him for who he was and accept that he was not going to change his nature to accommodate mine. I needed to learn how to manage my mind, my responses and my energy. I couldn’t put the ball in his court, and I couldn’t expect the world to make special accommodations for me.
It’s all about how I respond to it. It’s about me.
And now, here’s my video on my experience with this!
With so much love,